September 22, 2023

Along with the choice to divorce itself, there are two different necessary choices you might want to make: selecting a divorce methodology and knowledgeable to deal with your divorce case.

As a result of how the divorce course of is dealt with (and who handles it), can have lasting implications for you and your kids – fairly probably for the remainder of your lives.

As a divorce mediator and divorce coach group, we’re proponents of mediation. However since mediation is a voluntary course of, each spouses should be prepared to take part. If one partner desires to mediate however the different partner refuses to cooperate, one other divorce methodology will likely be wanted.

And that sometimes means hiring authorized illustration.

However there is a massive distinction between choosing the lawyer who comes up first in your Google search and hiring the potential divorce legal professional who will advise you properly, take heed to what you need, and whose fashion and strategy to the divorce course of is aligned together with your values.

With just a little training, you’ll be able to select an skilled divorce legal professional best for you in your state of affairs.

This publish is all about rent the appropriate lawyer for divorce.


Table of Contents

13 Inquiries to ask a divorce lawyer to assist decide if they’re a great match for you:


1. Are you supportive of the mediation course of?

Whereas it could appear counter-intuitive to ask a household lawyer this query in case your partner isn’t amenable to mediating, it might probably inform you numerous about how they strategy the divorce course of.

In our expertise, attorneys supportive of the mediation process are either mediators themselves, or collaborative professionals, and are more interested in a cooperative resolution rather than a combative one.

In our opinion, cooperation should be the goal of every divorce proceeding – regardless of the process or professional(s) you use to move through it.


2. Will there be other people working on my divorce case?

When meeting with an attorney, it’s common to think they’ll be the only person with whom you’ll be working, but that’s not usually the case.

The attorney you hire may also have an associate, and even a paralegal working on your behalf.

Make sure you meet all of the key players you’ll be interacting with so you can see if you feel comfortable with not only your attorney, but the entire team. Especially since you may have more interaction with the supporting staff than your lawyer.


3. Who will be my lawyer?

Similarly, you may meet with a divorce attorney, feel comfortable with them and sign their retainer agreement, only to find that your actual attorney is not the person you met with, but their associate or colleague.

Be sure to ask the attorney you’re considering who exactly will be giving you legal advice and representing you in your case.

Certainly, your lawyer won’t be the only person you interact with at the firm, but if your expectation is for them to represent you, and you learn after the fact they won’t be, you may be unpleasantly surprised – having done your research on them, and knowing nothing about their associate.


4. Do you know the family law attorney my spouse hired? What do you think of them?

Why is this important?

If they do, and have a good working relationship with that person, it might lead to settlement faster.

Divorce is local, so if you hire an attorney local to where you live, chances are they know your spouse’s attorney. And you want to make sure they can work together and not butt heads – which could drag things out just because they don’t get along.


5. Are you familiar with the local family court judges?

While most cases will settle, if you do have to go to court, it’s best your attorney knows which judge they’d prefer to be in front of, as well as how that judge and the various other judges in that family court division are likely to rule on a particular issue.


6. Before planning your legal strategy (and before executing it), will you ask me if I’m on board with it?

Whether or not you want to be informed on your lawyer’s strategy is up to you.

But be sure that you and your lawyer are on the same page before you hire them to represent you.


7. Do you have experience negotiating financial support or divorce settlements in cases similar to mine?

If a lawyer specializes in divorce, they should by nature have experience working through the basics of a:

But if you have a more complex divorce case (involving a business, high assets, a child with special needs, military divorce, etc.) you want to make sure your family and divorce lawyer has plenty of experience handling those specific complexities.



8. Do you practice collaborative divorce?

The collaborative process is a hybrid between traditional divorce litigation and mediation.

Each divorcing spouse and their respective collaborative attorney signs a contract stating they are committed to using cooperative dispute resolution techniques instead of aggressive tactics to settle the divorce issues.

If you cannot mediate due to a dishonest or antagonistic spouse, collaborative divorce process might be worth trying in order to avoid a court trial.

Note: Your spouse and spouse’s attorney must be willing to take part in this divorce method.


9. How big is your law firm?

From solo practitioners to a team of thousands, divorce law firms come in all sizes.

Maybe you’re thinking you want a solo practitioner.

While these types of professionals may prove more cost-effective as they may have lower overhead, and they may be able to provide you with more personalized attention, their lack of support staff may leave you feeling like you’re in the dark, or they may not respond to you promptly.

On the other hand, maybe you’re thinking you want a large firm.

While they can provide you with excellent support and respond to your inquiries quickly, you may find having numerous points of contact impersonal and costly. With all that staff, the firm may incur higher overhead, which may translate into higher fees.

That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the size of the firm to make sure it’s a good fit, as it can have a significant impact on both your client experience and bottom line.


10. How will I be updated regarding any developments in my divorce case?

It’s your decision as to how involved you want to be when it comes to your divorce proceedings.

Some people want to be informed of every detail, no matter how small. While others would rather be notified on only the more significant developments.

Make sure your lawyer knows how informed you want to be and is willing to work with you in that manner.


11. What does your retainer fee cover?

A retainer is a fee the attorney requires you to pay before they file divorce papers and begin working on your case.

The retainer is placed in the attorney’s trust account and as their office bills you, the billed amount will get subtracted from the retainer fee you paid.

Your attorney may either require you to deposit more money as the retainer balance depletes or will invoice you on some frequency (monthly, quarterly) to cover the ongoing expenses related to your case.

Because retainers are treated differently by different lawyers, you’ll want to ask if the retainer is a standard amount for all of that attorney’s clients. Or, if the retainer is what that attorney feels your case should cost if things go well.

This will help you manage expectations with respect to attorney fees.


12. If I exceed my retainer and there are additional billings, will I be notified in advance?

If you exceed your retainer, some divorce attorneys may alert you, and provide you with an estimate of what they feel you can expect to pay to resolve the remaining issues in your case.

Whereas others will continue with your case, and send you monthly invoices detailing their fees for additional services rendered as incurred.

By knowing upfront the approach your attorney will take, it may help you plan divorce costs better, and avoid potential financial hardships as your divorce case unwinds.


13. Will you keep me in the loop so I can take cost into account when working with you to determine if I want to proceed with a particular divorce strategy?

The fact is, divorce is an emotional issue.

And sometimes, our emotions get the best of us, and we want to “burn it all to the ground.”

Some attorneys feel that since you’re the client, they’ll do whatever it is you instruct them to do, no matter what the cost a particular strategy might have. While others may speak you prior to pursuing a particular strategy and share with you the financial cost, so you can decide if it’s worth it to you.

If keeping divorce costs in check is important to you, you’ll want to know this upfront before you utter the words “I don’t care what it takes – just get it done!”


What are some tips for how to hire a good lawyer for divorce or legal separation?



Hire an attorney that specializes in family law:

Have you ever heard the saying “a Jack of all trades is a Master of None?”

In terms of your divorce attorney, you do not want a Jack of all trades – you want to hire an attorney that specializes in divorce family law and that is all that they do. Many attorneys have a general practice and that is not who you want to hire.

The law is constantly changing, and you want to make sure your attorney is aware of any recent changes to the law.

If your state has a Certification in Matrimonial Law, that is an excellent way to make sure you are hiring an expert. In order to be Certified as a Matrimonial attorney, the attorney has to have a significant amount of experience, been favorably reviewed by both attorneys and judges, and have passed a rigorous examination.

This is an attorney you want on your side!


It is extremely important that you hire an attorney that practices family law in your county on a regular basis.

Judges have significant discretion, and attorneys that appear regularly in front of those Judges know how they are likely to rule on particular issues.

Insight such as this can be invaluable, especially dealing with issues such as custody and parenting time.

So hire local!


It is also important that you feel comfortable with your divorce attorney and that you have an open, honest professional relationship.

Attorneys often hear *very sensitive* information, and it is important that you feel comfortable with your attorney-not only sharing that sensitive information, but also asking any questions that you may have along the way.

However, your attorney should not always tell you what you want to hear; in fact, it is better if they do NOT tell you what you want to hear at times, but rather, they tell you what you NEED to hear, if appropriate.

Go with your gut!

Divorces aren’t easy by any means – it is, after all, and end to a marriage. However, with the right lawyer by your side, they don’t have to be *quite* as difficult.


Corrine Cooke, Divorce Attorney and Shareholder, Stark and Stark

Full-Service Legislation Agency with places of work in NJ, PA and NY



Do your analysis.

There are quite a lot of attorneys on the market and whereas evaluations are useful, they do not all the time inform the entire story. Take a look at their web sites and bios, see what else they’re doing of their group, and discover somebody whose values align with what you need for your loved ones.


When you have kids, select an legal professional who places their wants first.

That is what judges prioritize in instances (in our state at the very least) and is what it is best to prioritize as properly, even when your case by no means sees a courtroom.


Amicability is all the time preferable to hostility relating to divorce.

A “robust” lawyer is nice, however in household mediation, you need somebody who will get up for you however is prepared to make issues work.


Lisa Angel, Divorce Legal professional and President, Rosen Law Firm

Divorce legal professionals in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary, NC



For those who’ve been via marriage counseling and divorce is the one choice so that you can finish the connection, take into account divorce mediation.

Not all divorces should undergo litigation. Most divorces are settled by the spouses earlier than they get to court docket.

This could present some good benefits. It means the spouses (not the court docket) would be the ones that decide what occurs with belongings, money owed, and many others.

A very good lawyer will counsel this selection to you in the event that they really feel you’ll be able to finish issues amicably.


All the time take time to be taught concerning the household legislation agency you’re working with.

Examine evaluations, go to a number of pages of their web site and even attain out to purchasers you recognize have labored with them to get a really feel for if they seem to be a match for you.

Whereas many companies have a wide selection of personalities, you wish to really feel snug with each aspect of their shopper expertise.


Think about the cumulative expertise of the legislation agency.

Analysis the sturdy fits of every legal professional, do they appear like somebody who may additionally help your case?

Groups usually work collectively by sharing their information, previous shopper outcomes and ways. A robust chain is not created by weak hyperlinks, ensure that the one you select is strong.




Billie Tarascio, Divorce Legal professional and Founding father of Modern Law

Workplaces in Gilbert, Mesa, Peoria, Scottsdale and Phoenix Arizona



I might counsel that one of the simplest ways to establish a great divorce lawyer is to establish a real knowledgeable.

Within the subject of legislation, an knowledgeable is somebody who publishes in authorized journals and different publications.

If a lawyer must be prepared to place his or her opinions in black and white for the general public to learn and take into account.

Authorized writing is each how legal professionals apply and the way we be taught. A lawyer who doesn’t write is like an athlete who doesn’t apply.


Russell Knight, Divorce Legal professional and Founding father of Law Office of Russell D. Knight

Chicago Divorce Lawyer



Selecting the best legal professional to your divorce is a vital resolution.

Your legal professional must be a trusted skilled with whom you are feeling snug sharing info overtly and must be a zealous advocate to your pursuits.

Your legal professional must also have in depth expertise in household legislation, as California’s dissolution course of is complicated.

One vital piece of recommendation is to seek out an legal professional who practices primarily, if not completely, household legislation.

A household legislation case is commonly emotionally charged and sophisticated.

It’s important to discover a lawyer that makes a speciality of every part divorce-related, together with custody, visitation, property division, prenuptial agreements, and post-divorce disputes.

Though many attorneys can deal with a household legislation matter, an legal professional who focuses on household legislation in California will probably present simpler illustration at a decrease divorce price.


Subsequent, decide the extent of expertise you need and might afford.

For instance, you probably have a brief marriage with no kids and few belongings, an legal professional with much less expertise may be a great worth to your authorized wants.

Nonetheless, in case you are anticipating a custody dispute or have complicated or substantial belongings, a extra skilled legal professional will higher serve your wants.


Lastly, take into account the qualities in an legal professional that matter to you.

The State of California certifies attorneys inside their specialties.

Search for an legal professional whom the State Board of Authorized Specialization has licensed as a household legislation specialist. Additionally, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) is a choose skilled group, which admits solely the highest 1,500 attorneys within the nation, so it could be useful to rent an AAML member in case your funds enable.

These designations might help you discover seasoned household legislation counsel to characterize you in your case.


Debra R. Schoenberg, Legal professional and Founding father of Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C.

Divorce legal professionals in San Francisco, CA



Selecting a divorce legal professional is among the most necessary choices an individual could make.

Usually, the connection lasts near a 12 months, and requires open and common communication throughout a time of vulnerability and uncertainty.

Above all, the legal professional shopper relationship is considered one of belief.


Rent an legal professional with at the very least 10 years of expertise in household legislation, together with litigation expertise.

The purpose is nearly all the time to keep away from court docket, however to guard your pursuits, your legal professional mustn’t hesitate to request court docket intervention if wanted.

One of the best attorneys are good listeners, and responsive by cellphone and e mail after hours if obligatory.


Hiring a solo practitioner versus a full-service legislation agency with a number of attorneys is not going to essentially price much less.

Bigger companies often have help workers {and professional} workers that invoice at decrease hourly charges, and might present companies that transfer the case ahead with out the delays that include hiring a solo legal professional. (The primary criticism we hear from purchasers is that their prior legal professional didn’t return their name or e mail.)

Interview at the very least three attorneys (completely different genders, completely different dimension companies). Ask round for referrals if attainable.


Jackie Harounian, Companion at Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, P.C.

Divorce Legal professionals in Nassau County – Lengthy Island, NY



Search on-line or get a referral from a trusted supply after which schedule the preliminary session.

The preliminary session is essentially the most worthwhile time you’ll spend together with your potential divorce lawyer.

  • Undergo your targets and wishes and ensure the lawyer’s technique is aligned together with your targets.
  • Ensure you really feel snug speaking together with your lawyer and you are feeling assured having them in your group.
  • Ask them what’s their return name coverage and how one can get in contact with them when you might want to.
  • Ask them who would be the legal professional primarily chargeable for your file and if the file will likely be staffed with different legal professionals or help workers that may assistance on the file at a decrease price so to attempt to preserve the prices down. Legal professionals invoice based mostly on time spent on the file. So the extra time they’re spending on the file, the costlier the divorce will likely be.
  • The lawyer must be encouraging settlement at each step of the method and supply artistic potential options to any unresolved points.

Deciding on the appropriate legal professional is vital to making sure your divorce follows the trail that you’re snug with and one that can result in an environment friendly and amicable decision.


Jeralyn Lawrence, Legal professional and Founding father of Lawrence Law

New Jersey Divorce Legal professionals with places of work in Watchung and Pink Financial institution



The thought of hiring the “greatest” divorce lawyer is nearly solely subjective.

A lot will depend on the specifics of your case; what’s perfect in a single state of affairs isn’t essentially a great slot in one other.

One secret’s to know what you need out of your divorce.

Would you like somebody to battle each step of the best way? Or is it higher to have somebody who makes the method go as easily as attainable?

For instance, in case your cut up entails kids, you might wish to search for an legal professional with a background in youngster custody disputes versus somebody who focuses on high-asset divorce.


One other necessary factor to search for is a straight shooter, somebody who provides you the reality, even when it’s troublesome.

For those who’re about to spend hundreds of {dollars} in a dropping battle, will they be sincere and allow you to know?

Or will they merely inform you what you wish to hear?

The reality will not be nice, however in the long term, it often saves you time, cash, and complications of every kind.


You additionally need vitality and expertise out of your counsel, and somebody who has the time to offer you, and your case, the eye it wants and deserves.

For those who don’t really feel such as you’re in good fingers, you’re in all probability not in the appropriate place.


Zephyr Hill, Managing Legal professional at Goldberg Jones – Divorce for Males

Divorce legal professionals in San Diego, CA



Discovering the appropriate divorce lawyer is price it!

Selecting an skilled divorce lawyer is a really private matter. And as you’ve got realized, there are quite a lot of issues to think about when deciding who to rent that will help you finish your marriage.

However with a lot at stake, do not settle by merely selecting the primary end in your “Divorce lawyer close to me” Google search.

As an alternative, put within the effort and time to do your analysis so you’ll be able to choose your practitioner properly!

Your future will depend on it!



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